Motorcycle accidents can be incredibly serious because motorcycles are not as protective as other vehicles in an accident. If you were injured in a motorcycle accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical costs, lost income, and more. If someone caused your crash, they can be sued in your motorcycle accident case.
Parties You Can Sue in a Motorcycle Accident Case
To have a valid motorcycle accident case, someone must be at fault for the collision. You cannot claim damages unless there was a negligent party in the accident.
Someone is negligent when they have breached a legal duty. Every motorist has a duty to exercise ordinary diligence that does not cause harm to others. If someone fails in that legal duty and this results in a motorcycle accident, that party may be responsible for the damages (Georgia Code § 51-1-6).
The negligent party or parties in a motorcycle accident can be sued for damages. Depending on who caused the motorcycle accident, any of the following parties may be sued in this type of case.
The at-fault party in a motorcycle accident is most commonly another driver. This could include a car driver, truck driver, bus driver, or another motorcycle rider. Even if they did not mean to cause the accident, the driver is still at-fault if their actions led to the crash.
When another driver is the cause of a motorcycle accident, the first step is typically to file a personal injury claim with their auto insurance company. Then, if seeking settlement through a claim is unsuccessful, you might decide to sue the other driver.
Sometimes, a motorcycle accident can result from a defective motorcycle part or another issue with the vehicle. The manufacturer of the bike might be found at-fault in this situation.
If you suspect your accident was caused by a defect, you will want to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer immediately. They can begin investigating the accident, what went wrong, and who was ultimately responsible. If the manufacturer was at-fault for your accident, they can be sued for your damages.
If you were in a motorcycle accident, hit your head, and sustained injuries because of a problem with your helmet, the manufacturer of the helmet might be at least partially at fault for your damages.
Although another party is likely at fault for the actual accident, you may still be able to sue the helmet manufacturer if you suffered damages you would not have sustained if the helmet had worked properly. This is another situation where you’ll need a lawyer who can investigate the details for you.
The dealership that sold you the motorcycle might be at-fault in the accident. If the accident was caused by an issue with the bike that the dealership knew about (but sold the bike to you anyone), you may be able to sue them for damages.
Lastly, a state or local government is sometimes responsible for a motorcycle accident. If you were injured because of unsafe road conditions like unmarked potholes, the government entity that manages the roads may be to blame.
Suing a government is different than suing an individual or company. Although you can sue a state government in some situations, you must provide notice of the legal action within 12 months of the accident date (Georgia Code § 51-21-26). For help with this, you will need to contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Proving Fault in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Before you can sue anyone for a motorcycle accident, you will need to prove that they were at fault for your accident and resulting damages. To do this, you’ll need to gather evidence like:
- Pictures from the scene of the motorcycle accident
- Statements from eyewitnesses at the scene
- Police statements
- Medical records, medical bills, receipts, and other evidence of your damages
A motorcycle accident lawyer can help you compile the right information to build a strong case. Lawsuits are lengthy, expensive, and often exhausting, so you will need to have a solid case before taking someone to court.
You’ll also need to be honest with your lawyer about every detail of the accident. If there’s a chance you were partially at fault for the accident or you were not following all laws at the time, such as not wearing a helmet, it can affect your case.
You Probably Won’t Have to Sue in a Motorcycle Accident Case
Although you have the legal right to sue the at-fault party in a motorcycle accident case, you might not need to file a lawsuit. Most of the time, you can file a personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. This will allow you to seek a settlement for your damages without having to go to court.
The insurance company will probably not make it easy for you to get the compensation you deserve, even with an injury claim. That’s why it’s so advantageous to work with a motorcycle accident lawyer. Your lawyer can communicate and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and work towards a fair settlement offer.
If you can reach a settlement that both parties agree on, you’ll get paid for your damages and not have to pursue a lawsuit. This is often preferred since it takes much less time and money. However, there are situations where suing is the best option, so you’ll want to discuss all possible scenarios with your lawyer.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have worked on countless motorcycle accident cases over the past 20 plus years. We are not afraid to take your case to court if it means pursuing the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (404) 400-4000 and we’ll give you a FREE consultation to discuss your options and how we can help.
To schedule your FREE consultation today, call us at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.